Lagazuoi Winning Ideas Mountain Awards 2021:
the mountain as an innovation hub
A shoe that "reads" how you ski, a "space suit" for snow adventures, a barn in which circular management is implemented, a village that has become a widespread museum, an app to discover peaks: many projects are winners of the second edition of the award curated by Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti, an exhibition centre at 2,778 metres of altitude housing good ideas related to the mountains.
A resilient initiative, carried out despite the temporary stop of sports and tourism activities at high altitude. Goal: to give maximum visibility to a sector that courageously raises the bar of the possible, constantly innovating from an increasingly eco-sustainable perspective. The next step: the award ceremony and the exhibition dedicated to the winners at the headquarters of the Dolomites, as soon as it will be possible to organize events with an audience again.
Cortina d'Ampezzo, 20th January 2021_A recyclable shoe that turns into a ski boot shell, a start-up that helps reduce one’s environmental impact, a snow theatre in which "glacial” concerts are held, and an example of regenerative cuisine with cycle management. These are some of the intuitions, the “visionary ideas” chosen by the Lagazuoi Winning Ideas Mountain Awards 2021, the original project ot the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti for its second edition.
The juries evaluated the candidates' projects and determined the winners in each category: mountain clothing and equipment; sustainable mountain tourism; digital innovation & apps; mountain gastronomy industry.
Companies, craftsmen, communities that don't give up, but look to the future. Because, even if mountain tourism has come to a temporary standstill, the innovative strength of a sector that is used to "live uphill" and constantly faces the challenges of a beautiful and fragile environment, cannot be stopped.
The exhibition and cultural centre located in the arrival station of the Lagazuoi cable car, between Cortina and Val Badia, continues to tell about this bustle. The mountains teach us to project ourselves beyond the obstacle: and thus, also the Lagazuoi Winning Ideas Mountain Awards continue to promote mountain culture and innovation. Despite the adversity of this season, the schedule of the call for applications has been respected, and now we are waiting for the moment to finally organize the award ceremony and the exhibition of the winning projects at the Lagazuoi Expo Dolomiti cultural centre. There is no digital exhibition in sight: our intention is to hold an event in attendance as soon as possible in order to give the public the opportunity to appreciate the contents, as well as the physical immersion in an area of rare beauty, the unique scenario of Mount Lagazuoi.
A novelty was introduced for the second edition: the possibility of self-candidacy: engineers, artists, designers, companies, large and small realities presented themselves to raise awareness of their good ideas and best practices.
In addition, the four categories of the competition were entrusted to a team of high-profile experts who made a shortlist of candidates with the most interesting projects. Four juries were selected to determine the winners of each category. These juries were made up of university and doctoral students from the specific areas of expertise.
Go for a run and renew your energy – your shoes are renewable too. The winner in the "Mountain clothing and equipment" category is Index 01 by Salomon, a recyclable running shoe, symbol of Salomon’s Play Minded Program for environmental sustainability. Once worn-out, the shoes can be reduced into small pieces and reused to build the shell of alpine ski boots. The Jury was made up by students of the Ski Club of the SDA Bocconi University of Milan under the supervision of the lecturer of the finance department Prof. Federico Pippo. The most praiseworthy projects were selected by Luca Castaldini (journalist of Sportweek and Gazzetta dello Sport), Marco di Marco (director of the magazine Sciare), Maria Corbi (manager of the society sector of the daily newspaper La Stampa). On the list of Top 3 are also ranking Astro*, a basic, eco-friendly, ultra-resistant winter suit that can be integrated with high-tech upgrade accessories for riders and winter sport fans, designed by L. Guslandi, C. Pirovano, A. Rota of the Alpine Design course at the Polytechnic University of Milan; Hawx Ultra Connected by Atomic, a digital ski boot with embedded sensors connected with an app recording data such as balance, pressure control and edging skills. It is ideal to improve skills and allows to compete with the social community.
Frozen? No, much better. In the category “Mountain tourism and sustainability” the winner is Ice Music of the Consortium Pontedilegno-Tonale. At 2,600 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Presena Glacier, the magic comes alive in an ice and snow theatre, where resounds the music of instruments made with ice. A project and a concert series realised by the artist Tim Linhart. The other two finalists are Illegio, from the San Floriano Cultural Association, a small mountain village in the Carnic Alps that successfully fights against the abandonment of the mountain regions through culture organising every year, thanks to a team of volunteers, an art exhibition of international importance with works from all over Europe and Wall in Art of the Valle Camonica Cultural District. From rock drawings to modern graffiti art: in collaboration with one of the leading Italian writers, Ozmo, the community realized a widespread park of public art crossed by hiking trails. A lively dialogue between environment and culture, past and present. The members of the selection committee were Luigi Felicetti, (journalist and Rai-presenter, author of Geo), Massimiliano Ossini (journalist, former tv presenter of Linea Verde, writer), Mia Pizzi (design consultant for Abitare). The jury was composed of students of the postgraduate course Tourism Planning and Management of Tourism Systems at the University of Bergamo under the supervision of the lecturer Prof. Andrea Macchiavelli.
Is it possible to respond to climate change with a digital platform which promotes lifestyle-related best practice? Mugo, a project of the eponymous start-up, succeeded in contributing to the reforestation of the areas destroyed by the Vaia storm. The start-up's name was taken from the resistant mountain pine Pinus Mugo, one of the most efficient plants in absorbing CO2. The winners have been selected by the students of the Unimont, the University Centre of Excellence “Mountain University” of the University of Milan, under the supervision of the lecturer Prof. Anna Giorgi. The selection committee was made up by Emiliano Audisio (Wired Next Fest, Frame, planner of cultural, scientific and technological events), Fabio Bogo (director of Green&Blue, media conglomerate Gedi), Jacopo Pertile (founder of AzzurroDigitale and licensee of TEDxCortina. The second place went to Cuneotrekking of the company Delite Studio S.r.l. The Cuneo trekking team has developed a free app intending to make it easier for day-trippers and hikers to explore the Cuneo Alps. Also PeakVisor of the company Routes Software S.r.l. got a podium place. With this augmented reality app you can get a lot of information simply using the camera of a smartphone: names and heights of mountains, maps of ski slopes, hiking trails, mountain huts and castles.
The great new entry of this edition is the category dedicated to the "Mountain gastronomy industry", won by the San Brite of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which recently was awarded its first Michelin star. The restaurant opened by Riccardo Gaspari and Ludovica Rubbini in the former barn of the Gaspari family is based on an innovative concept for regenerative cuisine with circular management, following the mountain traditions and using local products. The winner was determined by the students of the degree course in Gastronomic Sciences at the University of Parma under the supervision of the lecturer Prof. Cristina Mora. On the winner's podium stands also Eggemoa of the company Steiner Gebhard. In a cheese factory located in the valley Valle dei Molini, for three years the young cheesemaker Michael Steiner has been producing soft cheeses from raw milk flavouring them with local ingredients. In 2016 one of his cheeses was awarded the best soft cheese in Italy. Last but not least, Zu Plun of the Rabanser Florian company, an internationally renowned distillery in the Dolomites which produces gin, rum, spirits and grappas with mountain ingredients, thanks to the skill of the distiller Florian Rabanser. The members of the selection committee were: Maddalena Fossati Dondero (director of La Cucina Italiana), Massimiliano Tonelli (managing editor of Gambero Rosso and Artribune), Norbert Niederkofler (chef-de-cuisine, three Michelin-stars at the St. Hubertus restaurant).